Say your goodbyes, folks, Lotus 1-2-3 is being forced into retirement. For those of you old enough to remember Lotus 1-2-3, you might be shocked to learn that it was still on the market after all this time. Many people got their introduction to spreadsheets courtesy of IBM's
legacy software, though Lotus 1-2-3 wasn't actually the first spreadsheet program to hit the PC. VisiCalc, which was originally released for the Apple II, beat Lotus 1-2-3 to the punch.
Several other spreadsheet programs would follow, though none more popular back in the early and mid-1980s than Lotus 1-2-3. It was considered IBM's first "killer application," and indeed it quickly killed VisiCalc in sales after its debut on January 26, 1983. It wasn't until Excel and Quatro Pro came out that Lotus 1-2-3 would start to fall in favor. It was such a popular tool that it was even used to stress test PC clones for compatibility with the IBM PC that it was written to run on.
A later version (9.3) of Lotus 1-2-3 running on Microsoft's Windows XP platform.
Fast forward to today and there's not much reason to cling to the 30-year-old spreadsheet. IBM agrees and decided to discontinue support for the program and related software, including Lotus SmartSuite and Lotus Organizer, noting that "Customers will no longer be able to receive support for these offerings after September 30, 2014. No service extensions will be offered."
IBM will, however, continue to market and sell the program until June 11, 2013, in case you really want to own a piece of history. After that, it's time to move on and look alternatives for your spreadsheet needs, like Excel
, Google Docs
, and so forth.